I woke up this morning with a burr in my saddle, a rock in my shoe, a snarl in my (metaphorical) hair. I called my sister to get it out of my system, which only made things worse. We commiserated. We egged each other on. Note to self: Never commiserate on speakerphone because if you can use your hands, you’ll end up yelling…it’s just too dang easy.
So on this new installment of Feel Good Fridays I want to stick my head in the sand. I’m not great. There’s been a build up in me, a slow boil and I just know the drive-thru person is going to get it hard if they forget to PUT A STRAW IN MY BAG!
This is where pop psychology often says, “fake it until you make it” or “the world isn’t happening to you, you are happening to it” or “LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE.” But when you’re in bad space those kinds of clichés make a person want to drive their car full throttle into a roundabout and pray for the best.
REALITY: Sometimes we don’t feel good. Sometimes we are angry. Sometimes we want to give someone a piece of our mind. (Sometimes we actually do give them a piece of our mind during those imaginary conversations we have in the privacy of our cars. Oh yes, I know all about those. Soooo wish I had a nanny cam of my top five. THAT would be entertaining.)
But often when I’m frustrated or angry, I think I shouldn’t be. So I start counting my blessings when it’s not actually time to count blessings, but perhaps time to take a self-inventory. And here’s what that looks like:
We start by asking, “What’s wrong with me? What am I angry about?” But anger has been said to be a “secondary emotion.” So what next?
We must go deeper…and ask ourselves, “What is beneath the anger? Loneliness? Fear? Despair? Jealously? Pride?”
I can have all the imaginary conversations I want with principals, my boss, co-workers, my wife, or the drive-thru person who forgot my straw, but if I’m only addressing a symptom of the problem, guess what? The problem isn’t going anywhere. It will simply be repackaged and opened up in a different area of my life.
Also, sometimes IT’S NOT TIME for the problem to go anywhere. Sometimes we need to take a good long look at our problem. Poke it with a stick to see what happens – to assess if it is as big as we thought it was, perhaps smaller…perhaps HUGE. Our goal is not to shelve the problem as quickly as possible so we can get on with our lives, but to understand what that problem is pointing to that may need changed or re-understood.
A common cold generally doesn’t go away in 24 hours….often because our physical bodies NEED to slow down – they need a break. It’s the same with our spirit. The problems we face are asking us to slow down our MINDS, to listen in closely and see if we can locate where the rhythm of our hearts has been disrupted.
How do we get that rhythm back into a healthy pattern?
We stop. We self-inventory. We ask, “What’s REALLY going on here?” We DON’T force ourselves into a smile, dust our shoulders before it’s time, or look up the silver lining quote we’ve stored away in the notes app of our phones.
If a child came to us with a skinned knee, crying over the pain of it, our initial response would hopefully not be, “It will feel better tomorrow.” We would probably say, “I’m sorry,” and then ask, “Are you okay?” We would address their current state of affairs, not where we hoped they’d be tomorrow.
So I’m realizing I need to take a moment this morning, maybe just five minutes to say, “Matt, I’m sorry.” And then ask myself, “Are you okay?”
Which apparently I’m not, because I want to get up from my blogging at this very moment and tell the Starbucks people to change the radio station because Tears for Fears is making me want to throw hot coffee on the giant bearded man sitting in front of me. And I LOVE Tears for Fears. (Always been Head Over Heels for them). THANK YOU…GOODNIGHT INDIANAPOLIS!
What’s up with the giant beards anyway? Seriously…what kind of emotional baggage are they hiding in those things?
Peace out, everyone. Make it a great weekend. Take some time to reflect, medicate…okay WAIT….I am not fixing that typo…I meant MEDITATE…not medicate. Freudian slip? Woah…be careful out there, people. Self-medication is the devil. See a bit more about self-medication HERE.
Peace and love for a beautiful weekend on the inside!